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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  March 7, 2017 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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market, it may not be perfect but this is the first step in the process. >> if an airplane is losing altitude, pushing pieople out te side does president help the process. >> did you for showing discussion in the republican party. appreciate it. that's it for us. "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. >> thanks, dana. the one issue that once united republicans is currently dividing them. "the lead" starts right now. the replacement president trump backing the house republican plan to repeal and replace obamacare, but we still don't know the answers to the two biggest questions, how many people will be covered and how much will it cost. is your smart tv watching you? wikileaks releasing what appear to be stolen cia documents loaded with cyber secrets. why you may want to watch what you say around your television or smartphone. plus, they protect our ports and our waterways, not to
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mention the president and his mar-a-lago get aways. now president trump could leave the coast guard high and dry to help pay for his immigration crackdown. but is the bigger border problem actually the one at sea? good afternoon, everyone. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. we're going to start with politics. president trump formally approved the repeal and replace plan. it is taking a lot of heat from conservative for not being a full repeal and for being what some conservatives are calling republican welfare. meanwhile democrats are assailing the plan for any number of reasons including the fact it phases out expanded coverage through medicaid, replaces subsidies with tax credits, and bans funding for planned parenthood. all the while the trump administration is playing defense not just on this bill but on the various controversies dogging his young administration. we have reporters covering all angles from the white house to capitol hill. we're going to start with senior white house correspondent jeff zeleny who joins us from the
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north lawn. jeff, reporters were briefed by the secretary of the department of health and human services dr. tom price today. and the president just met with more than 20 house republicans. what is the headline from the white house today on obamacare and the repealing of it? >> reporter: he did, jake. the headline, president supports the house gop plan. i came from the east room a few moments ago as we saw there and the president was meeting with a lot of rank and file gop leaders, the people who are in charge of getting the rest of the rank and file on board. and the president expressed to the greatest degree he has yet that he does indeed support this house gop plan. he also said that he was elected to help repeal and replace obamacare and he said, i suspect many of you were as well. this is what his message was to the house republicans. >> i'm proud to support the replacement plan released by the house of representatives and encouraged by members of both parties. i think really that we're going to have something that's going to be much more understood and
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much more popular than people can even imagine. it follows the guidelines i laid out in my congressional address, a plan that will lower costs, expand choices, increase competition, and ensure health care access for all americans. this will be a plan where you can choose your doctor. this will be a plan where you can choose your plan, and you know what the plan is. this is the plan. and we're going to have a tremendous -- i think we're going to have a tremendous success. it is a complicated process but it's very simple. it's called good health care. >> reporter: i think he was right, though, when he said it was a complicated process, jake. the white house realizes that. the 20 or so house gop members in the room there meeting with the president are already on board. they are already supportive of this. the harder challenge here comes from many of those rank and file fiscal conservatives who say it simply is not acceptable. so, the question here is how much will the trump organization
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use its strength from all those campaign rallies, use the muscle of its movement to get behind this plan? we'll have to watch that in the coming weeks. but, jake, the president said he is squarely behind this house gop effort. jake? >> jeff sellfulzeleny at the wh house, thank you so much. here is a look at some of the proposed changes. first republicans want to scratch subsidies paid to insurers based on income and replace them with what they call refundable tax credits given directly to you based on age and income. instead of the individual mandate which requires everyone to get insurance or face a penalty under the proposed plan someone with insurance who lapses in payments would face a 30% surcharge by insurance companies. republicans also want to overhaul medicaid expansion and lift taxes that obamacare imposed on the rich insurers and on drug manufacturers. cnn's phil mattingly is on capitol hill where house republicans are trying to sell the plan not only to their
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colleagues but also to democrats and the american people. phil, do you see any potential roadblocks for this bill getting through the house and senate as it stands right now? >> no shortage of them at this point, jake. we have work to do. that was the text message i got from a gop official who supports the plan just a short while ago. the help that jeff zeleny was outlining coming from the trump administration certainly appreciate it. no question about it this is a numbers game and right now work is certainly on the menu. this is obamacare gone. less than 24 hours after the house gop obamacare repeal bill finally saw the light of day -- >> this is the first and most important step to giving relief to americans from this terrible law. >> reporter: house and senate conservatives are already threatening its very existence. >> i think the bill as it stands really is dead on arrival. i don't think it's going to ever arrive in the senate. i think it's dead on arrival in the house. >> reporter: bolstered by pressure from outside conservative groups including
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this route from koch brothers from american prosperity, a football field way from the capital building. >> they are going to have the shortest lived majority in the modern era if they fail to fully repeal obamacare. >> reporter: moderates have long been wary of looming democratic attacks on how many people the bill will actually cover. something sources tell cnn the congressional budget office has told gop leaders will likely fall far short of obamacare's projections. is it your view that the metric of how many people are covered is not the proper way to gauge the success of a health care proposal? >> well, you know, it's interesting because if you go back to what cbo predicted would be covered on the exchanges today, they are only off by about a 2 to 1 ratio. there are 21 million they projected would be covered. 10 million are actually covered. >> reporter: conservatives remain increasingly skeptical. the refundable tax credits that would replace obamacare subsidies and provide aid for individuals without employer insurance to purchase plans. >> conservative across the country aren't going to accept it. it does a couple of things we
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find unacceptable. it keeps the obamacare subsidies but just renames them as refundable tax credits. >> reporter: then there is the restructuring of medicaid, a hot button issue across the country given the program's expansion many states took under obamacare. four gop senators said they will oppose any bill that doesn't protect enrollees in their states. >> what we're trying to do is what we pledged we would do. it's not pull the rug out from anybody. >> reporter: and, jake, i got into journalism explicitly not to do math, but math here is very important. if you look kind of how things stand right now in the house, house republican leaders can afford to lose 21 republicans and keep in mind democrats are unified in their opposition to this bill. over on the senate side, they can only afford to lose two of the 52 republicans they have in the majority over here. that is not a lot of room to work with and it's worth noting they are moving quickly on this. committees expected to take up these bills tomorrow, house republican leaders say they want this bill on the floor before the end of the month.
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senate ma jorlt leafeder mitch mcconnell telling reporters he's going to take up the house bill, try and get this done within the next couple of weeks. the reality is with the amount of work to do, with the limited amount of space they have, in terms of losing members, that push both from the trump administration and republicans on capitol hill to try and solidify the support, very, very important, jake. >> all right, phil mattingly on capitol hill. democrats grill the deputy attorney general over how he might handle a justice department probe into trump campaign advisor's contacts with russia given that he would be the one in charge since the attorney general sessions has recused himself from the matter. he was also asked about president trump's evidence-free allegations that president obama wiretapped him during the presidential campaign. a charge that the fbi director says is false. cnn's jessica snyder is live in washington for us. jessica, democrats had some more pointed questions today than one would regularly typically expect for a deputy attorney general nominee. >> jake, this would typically be
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a low-khelil notice confirmation hearing for the number two spot at the justice department. well, instead it was a fire works filled tense showdown over what to do about russia's election meddling and the president's own wiretapping allegations. russia and wiretapping dominating what would normally be a routine confirmation hearing. deputy attorney general nominee rod rosenstein today confronting lingering anger toward attorney general jeff sessions. >> i think senator sessions should come back. i think he owes it to this committee to come back and to explain himself. >> reporter: senator franken still stewing after a.g. sessions told trump he was not aware of contacts with russia. >> i consider what senator franken asked sessions at that late moment that that story just came out as a gotcha question. >> it was not a gotcha question, sir. >> it was. from the standpoint -- >> he didn't know what you were asking about.
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>> rosenstein facing relentless questioning on whether he would appoint a special prosecutor. now that sessions has recused himself from the investigation into russia's meddling in the 2016 election, rosenstein would be the one in charge. >> so, i'm trying to figure out what your bottom line is. i interpret that as a no. is that fair? >> well, i don't know, senator. i think the answer is i'm simply not in position to answer the question because i don't know the information that they know, the folks who are in the position to make that decision. i view this as part of -- it's a political issue and it's a completely legitimate issue for you and i respect your right to consider it. but my view is that i have a responsibility when i take that oath if i become deputy attorney general, i cannot take it conditioned upon having committed how i'm going to handle a particular case. >> reporter: republicans seeking to shut down the questioning. >> any talk of a special consul is premature at best. >> reporter: sessions today refusing to answer questions on
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president trump's tweets accusing former president obama of wiretapping him. senators grilled his would-be deputy. >> i certainly did read about the tweets that were reported over the weekend, yes. >> what was your reaction? >> i don't think it's appropriate for me to share my reaction, senator. if the president is exercising his first amendment rights, that's not my issue. >> reporter: trump's wiretap charge is now part of the comprehensive investigation by the house and senate intelligence committees. >> do you believe the president when he says that? >> well, like i said, it needs an investigation so we can find out what the facts are. so, we'll follow the facts wherever they may lead. >> reporter: spokesman sean spicer saying the white house will no longer comment. >> i think if we were to start to get involved you would write stories about how we are getting involved. it's a no-win situation. i think the smartest and most deliberative way to conduct the investigation is to ask the house and senate already if in the process of looking into this. >> reporter: and breaking in just the past few minutes, house intelligence committee chairman devin nunez seen there announcing the first public hearing on the russia
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investigation. it will be march 20th. so, he has just announced that, the late est information coming into us. of course this has gotten all members of congress talking. in fact, the most reese ent senate majority leader mitch mcconnell joining that correspond us of congressional members who say they have not seen any evidence backing up the president's wiretap claims. so, a lot of questions swirling, jake, but of course that first public hearing just announced it will be set for march 20th. jake? >> all right, jessica snyder, thank you so much. he grilled jeff sessions over russia. it's a question that helped lead to sessions' recusal. so, what does senator al franken think of the attorney general's latest answer about his contacts with the russian ambassador? we'll ask him next. you wto progress.move. to not just accept what you see, but imagine something new. at invisalign®, we use the most advanced teeth straightening technology
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it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. i consider what senator franken asked a at that late moment came out was a gotcha question. >> it was not a gotcha question, sir. >> it was, sir. from the standpoint he didn't know what you were asking about. >> but i said that as i was asking the question. i said, you don't -- haven't heard this and i don't expect that you have heard it. >> senator -- >> look at the tape, mr. chair.
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>> fire works between senators chuck grassley and al franken over attorney general's explanation about why he testified that he, quote, did not have communications with the russians, unquote, last year. despite the fact that the truth is he met with russia's ambassador twice, he said he did so in his capacity as a senator not as a trump campaign surrogate. thanks foch r so muso much us, senator. >> you bet. >> attorney sessions sent a letter defending what he told you during his confirmation hearing. to bring our viewers back to what this is about, your question talked about the story cnn broke at that moment about whether there may have been contacts between trump campaign advisors and russians known to u.s. intelligence and whether u.s. intelligence had been monitoring it. here is the end of your question with then senator, now attorney general sessions. >> if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the trump
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campaign communicated with the russian government in the koergs of this campaign, what will you do? >> senator franken, i'm not aware of any of those activities. i have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign, and i didn't -- did not have communications with the russians. and i'm unable to comment on it. >> since then it came out that he had actually met with the russian ambassador twice although he said he did so in his capacity as a senator and not a campaign surrogate. president trump even went on to say that, sessions, quote, could have stated his response more accurately. sessions yesterday amended his remarks to the committee saying that his answer was correct and that he, quote, did not mention communications he had with the russian ambassador over the years because the question did not ask about them. what's your response, sir? >> that's a ridiculous response. it's not a clarification at all. of course, the question didn't ask about the russian ambassador. i didn't ask him -- he answered
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a question that he asked himself, which is did i meet with any russians, and he answered it falsely. he said, no, i hadn't. so, this response -- listen, i've been cutting him a lot of slack. i've been refusing to say that he lied. i've wanted to wait for this letter to come out. it's hard to come to any other conclusion than that he just perjured himself. >> you think he perjured himself. what do you think the penalty should be, do you think he should resign? >> i think he should come before the committee and explain this. of course, no one asked him about the russian ambassador. he is the one who volunteered that information that he didn't speak to anybody and it turned out he had met twice with the russian ambassador. once a private meeting. and he had seven weeks to just
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notify us. this is about the russian government high jacking our election. and this is about whether there was any collusion in that interference by the trump campaign. and it raises all kinds of questions. what do the russians have on trump? why is he being so complementary to putin all this time? his son said in 2008 that we have a lot of russian money coming into our operation or in our organization, our business organization. we need to see the president's income taxes. he lied about that. he said you can't release your income taxes if you're under audit. yes, you can. >> uh-huh. >> also he was asked to produce a letter from the irs saying you're under audit. he can't produce that. >> senator, let me ask you, you have been criticized by republicans, senator grassley,
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the chairman of the judiciary committee said your question was a gotcha question. folks on fox and friends -- i'm not sure if you saw it -- but they -- >> i don't. i don't watch fox and friends. it's in the morning and i'm usually getting off to work. >> just to bring you up to speed, i think they criticized some of the individuals there criticized your question as meandering and confusing. bottom line, is it possible that senator sessions, attorney general sessions thought that you were talking about talking to russians in the capacity as a campaign surrogate versus as a senator? >> i asked him a very clear question, which is that if this information turned out to be true, that members of the trump campaign were -- had been talking to the russians, what would you do, meaning, what would you do as attorney general? and he just answered in a completely different question and said, i haven't talked with the russians, and that answer was false.
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listen, these people on fox and friends, they can say anything they want. it's very clear that i did not trick him into saying "i didn't meet with the russians clrk. >> the nominee for deputy attorney general rosenstein wouldn't commit today to supporting the poimt of a special prosecutor to investigate contact between trump campaign staffers and russians. are you satisfied that he could lead a fair justice department investigation given that the attorney general has recused himself? and will you support him for deputy attorney general? >> i really haven't decided yet. i was a little unhappy with the fact that he had not read the intelligence organization's -- even the unclassified report on the russia interfering with our elections. and that seemed to me odd, seemed to me he deliberately did that so he could say i don't know anything about this. but i thought that was odd. but i'm not exactly certain how
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i'm going to vote right now. >> all right, senator al franken from the great state of minnesota. thank you so much, sir. appreciate it. jake tapper from washington, d.c. >> breaking news coming from capitol hill right now. the republican chairman of the house intelligence committee saying there is no evidence at least not yet on president trump having been wiretapped by then president obama. we'll talk about all of this with the panel next. plus, leaked documents showing cia spying tactics can technology in your own home be used as listening devices? that's ahead. did... n't. hey, come look what lisa made. wow. you grilled that chicken? yup! i did... n't. smartmade frozen meals. real ingredients, grilled and roasted. it's like you made it. and you did... n't. dearthere's no other way to say this. it's over. i've found a permanent escape from monotony. together, we are perfectly balanced.
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welcome back to "the lead."
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continuing with our politics lead we have lots to talk about with my panel so let's get right to it. charles, let me start with you. republicans unveiled the replacement plan for obamacare. you tweeted, maybe someone can convince the 9th circuit to strike down this health care proposal so the house gop has to work it from the ground up. why the opposition? >> well, i think it was introduced badly and i think the substance is not great. the poor introduction, it seems that the parliamentary procedures here are going to be very come plplicated. there are some things they can do with 50 votes, some things with 60 votes. because it delegates some of the executive branch they need to be involved, too. they didn't explain that. when they released this bill, they thought it was the whole thing. there's been push back. it's not going to please conservatives because it doesn't go far enough. it doesn't do what conservatives wanted either, which was to not just reset america to the status quo, but to make the insurance market so there was more port ability and flexibility.
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it seems to me if they do pass this, which i don't think they will, they are going to end up owning the problems obamacare continues to have without really getting a great deal for it. i think that is why there's been so much push back. >> democrats obviously oppose it. they have the exact opposite problem. they think it takes away too much. >> it takes a huge -- gives a huge tax break to people at the very top, the .1% will get on average a $200,000 tax break. ceos for companies will not get -- their income will not be taxed. and it causes people to lose their health care. and i would just say this. as a governor, the notion of the expansion going away -- >>ed medicaid expansion. >> right, the medicaid expansion going away is horrible when you consider who it serves. the expansion part of it, people who have incomes under $16,000 a year. so, democrats are saying, who are we that we would be giving to the rich and taking from the
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poor when what we ought to be doing is fixing the things that needed fixing with obamacare, but don't throw the baby out with the bath water. >> aby, let's talk about the politics of this. it looks like there are a lot of hurdles. the conservative block, you heard rand paul earlier in the show very opposed to this. they think these refundable tax credits are republican welfare, they're calling it. it looks as though a lot of democrats, if not all democrats in the senate at the very least are going to oppose it. can this pass? >> right. i mean, this bill very much feels like it's an orphan. it has no real constituency except for maybe gop leadership and parts of the white house. and even as a first step, i actually think that the multi-step process is in and of itself problematic for this congress because to do -- they have to do the first step, which is the lowest bar. maybe 50 votes. and then they have to do subsequent steps which might require 60 votes which will be even more difficult to get. so, if you're a republican and you're trying to figure out whether you will ever get this
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full-fledged repeal and replace, the process itself seems to be incredibly prohibitive for that. and it seems like you would start a process and never really fully finish it. and that's got to scare some republicans, especially the ones coming up for reelection in two years. >> the chairman of the house intelligence committee devin nunez of california just held a press conference and he was asked about president trump's evidence-free charge offer the weekend, that president obama had wiretapped him. take a listen. >> president is a neophyte politics. he's been doing this a little over a year, and i think a lot of the things that he says, you guys sometimes take literally. sometimes he doesn't have 27 lawyers and staff looking at what he does which is i think at times refreshing and at times can also lead us to have to be sitting at a press conference like this answering questions that you guys are asking. >> charles? >> well, look. i'm a political neophyte and i
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don't have 27 lawyers and i can see that that was reckless. and i'm far from being president, but were i president, i wouldn't have made that accusation without a great deal of evidence. there is something here. there is obviously somewhere along the line there has been a fisa court there is something sur veiled. the notion president obama himself ordered donald trump to be wiretapped in trump tower is a very specific accusation and an extraordinary one to make without evidence. >> and they're doubling down on it. i mean, they have an opportunity to say, i mean, even nunez is basically saying, don't take it seriously. but spicer can't say that. they're doubling down on it. so, back to the point, if the president actually has evidence, he is the one who can release it. and, of course, he's not releasing it because, of course, there is no evidence of it. >> this really illustrates the tough spot the president keeps putting his allies in.
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devin nunez is a hard guy to alienate from donald trump. i wouldn't even consider that a huge amount of distance. but you can see and sense the frustration there that he doesn't really know how to deal with this. and time and time again this president continues to do things that make it very hard for his allies to defend him. and this is just one of those times. i mean, being a political neophyte is not really an excuse once you've been sworn in as president of the united states. you have to do the job. >> hardest job in america, sean spicer, right? >> everybody else in the white house this morning. >> i find it interesting the idea that a 70-year-old man shouldn't be held accountable for his words. >> i know. and almost -- i mean today he had another tweet this morning which accused the obama administration of releasing hundreds of people from quit mow. come to find out it was the bush administration, obama administration released 9, bush administration released 122. it was wrong. but why there is no vetting of
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these emissions from the president -- >> because there is this idea, this latent idea that he's playing 5-d chest. in reality he seems to be watching television and tweeting about it. >> his tv and his twitter. >> there is also a pattern of stating things as fact that are not fact. i mean, this is really the big problem with what happened on saturday morning, was that it wasn't just that he said, i think president obama wiretapped me. he said, i just found out that president obama wiretapped my phones. and that's a definitive statement that coming from the president of the united states means something. >> and what he actually meant was i just read a story in breitbart and i completely misunderstood it. >> exactly. >> abby, charles, governor, thank you so much for being here. coming up, using tech no l ji so spy? newly leaked documents the government can use to listen in on unsuspecting targets including potentially turning computers, phones, even televisions into spying devices against their own owners. that story next.
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. our national lead today, a stunning look inside the cia's hacking came ability seemingly straight out of a jason bourne film. which can i c wikileaks claims these show the methods they use. among them turning household items such as computers or smart phones or a samsung smart tv into surveillance tools. turning your own electronics into spy devices even when they're powered off. the cia hackers are apparently able to bypass encryption on popular communication applications such as what's app,
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signal, confide. by hacking the smart foreigns the apps run on and collecting the data before the encryption is applied. cnn cannot independently verify the information contained in these 8761 documents and files which wikileaks is calling vault 7. in a statement a cia spokesman said, quote, we do not comment on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents, unquote. joining me now is former cia counter terrorism specialist phil mud. thank you for joining us. i think our viewers would be surprised how easily the cia could invade someone's privacy without them knowing it. can the public be confident there are controls to make sure these techniques aren't abused? >> you asked the right question, jake. they should be surprised the cia can sur veil them. the cia like the fbi has to go through a court order to do so. you have to think of this in a couple pieces. number one, anybody walking down the street could break into your house. to do that legally they need a warrant. the cia can collect as many tools as they want. to look at an american through a
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tv or land line in the '7 0s, you had to go through a correspondent ordinacourt order to do that. it is not whether the cia can watch americans through the phone with a court order. i think this is remarkable. for those you would not need a court order. >> wikileaks also shows documents of a cia umbrage group which they say, quote, collects ask maintains a substantial library of attack techniques stolen from malware produced in other states including the russian federation which would allow the cia theoretically miss direct attribution. the suggestion is the cia has the capability of framing a country like russia for hacks. >> a suggestion? a sure hope they're doing that. when you run a spy operation, one of the questions you have is deny ability. first you don't want to be picked up. the second thing is if it's a
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cyber operation, you don't want somebody to determine what the origin of attack is. you don't want it to say made in the usa. i worked on a program 25, 30 years ago, jake, to arm rebels in afghanistan. you think we gave them u.s. weapons? we gave them deny ability. we gave them eastern european weapons. everybody knew they were american provided but they didn't say that. i hope the cia is picking up material so that when -- from the russians from malware from private sector so when they use it, whoever picks it up, iranians, russians or chinese or otherwise say we're pretty sure this is the agency but we don't know because they disguised it through a false flag operation. they used somebody else's stuff. >> what would worry you the most if you saw this document vault 7 from wikileaks, if you still worked for the cia and you were looking at it from inside the agency in >> two things we're not talking about. the first is people are talking about accessibility to what the cia does and whether it violates
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american civil liberties. fair question. first question i'd have when president obama evidently spoke with president trump about his biggest national security concern, it was north korea. what has just been exposed to the noreth koreans and iranians. the second is like edward snowden, who did it, why did they do it and where are they now. there is a ton of people at the agency and elt where saying we're going to look at this stuff and hunt somebody down. they ought to pay. >> phil mudd, thank you so far your perspective. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> we're going to build a wall and the coast guard is going to pay for it. how they could potentially hurt us at sea. drought, starvation, the united nations is calling the hunger a crisis the world can no longer ignore. stay with us.
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did you make that? i did... n't. house speaker paul ryan commenting on the republican plan to replace obamacare. let's take a listen. >> and replace obamacare. it delivers relief to americans fed up with skyrocketing premium ands fewer choices. it moves us away from the broken status quo toward a better patient centered system. that means lower costs for hard working families. it means more choices and competition so that you can buy the plan that you need and that you can afford. it means greater control of your health care. as you know, this is the culmination of years long of an inclusive process that we have been doing here for years. last june as part of our better way agenda, we put forward our vision for health care. after the election, we began to
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work with our counterparts in the senate and with the trump administration on this plan. i want to thank president trump. i want to thank vice-president pence. and i want to thank secretary price for their support and their hard work in getting us to this repeal and replace point. i also want to thank chairman brady who is going to be joining us in a minute and chairman wall den for their leadership. now this bill will go through the regular order of process in the house. as it does, i encourage all americans to read this bill online at read the go online and read the bill at read the doing big things is never easy, but we have made a promise and we are going to keep that promise. we made a promise to repeal and replace obamacare with conservative solutions and reforms. that is exactly what this bill does and that's why we're here. thank you. >> i want to echo a couple things the speaker said.
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i do want to thank the president. i do want to thank the vice-president. i do want to thank our new secretary tom price as well. if i just listened to the president meeting with the deputy whip team. he said he was proud to support this new bill. why? because of the years of work that has gone into it. we know why we are here today, because of obamacare did three essential points. one, created exchange. we all know the history of what's happened to that. the failures, the companies pulling out, and now you have one-third of the entire country, 1022 counties with only one health care provider. created 23 co-ops, provided more than $18 billion. 18 of those collapsed. medica medicaid can't sustain itself. that's why i want to thank chairman greg walden for the work they're going through as well. third, it made government control health care, the regulations that it imposed upon
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everybody else. well, today is a new day. and we stand proud with our president, that he supports this bill to move forward, to keep the promise that we made that we would repeal obamacare and replace it to put the power back with the individuals. >> well, good afternoon. i want to thank my colleagues for their work on this, especially the president, the vice-president, secretary price, mr. brady, and the members of our energy and commerce committee, especially our subcommittee chairman, dr. burr jess who put in incredible amounts of time and work. this bill went public last night about this time. it is available online for everyone to see and this is the conservative alternative to obamacare. this is how we're going to reform health care in america and give choice back to people, rescue the failing individual market. we're proud of this piece of legislation. we look forward to marking it up tomorrow. remember, we made a promise to the american people that we are going to keep it right here, right now, by repealing
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obamacare and replacing it with something that will work for them. but remember, this is just the first step. this is just the first step. this legislation begins the process of transforming the health insurance market. it also amounts to the biggest entitlement reform since bill clinton signed welfare reform into law, because we're going to restore to the states authority that's been taken away from them, make them have to not come here to washington and ask some bureaucrat for permission to do everything. and instead allow them to innovate, to be creative, to get their hands around patients who need their help the most. and to best use those dollars. and with medicaid, it amounts to, per capita allotment so they'll know what they can expect. it works for them. we've worked closely with the governors. so, tomorrow at 11:00 or 10:30, we'll kickoff our markup. we'll begin this process in an open and transparent way. but let me say again, look, we're going to make sure those who have preexisting conditions continue to get health care and health insurance.
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we're going to make sure there are no lifetime caps and we're not going to kick your kids off their plans until after they turn 26. we'll help you kick them out of the basement maybe but not off their health insurance. this is important work we're doing. we look forward to moving forward on it and to providing the rescue for the individual market and relief to the states and help to the people that sent us here to get this job done. >> i think mr. brady is still at the white house so we'll -- we were going to have him go next, but we'll just go to questions. casey. >> [ inaudible ]. >> i'm prepared to lead our conference to doing what we said we would do in the election. we actually ran on a repeal and replace plan. that's what this is, the repeal and replace plan we ran on. now i am intent on making sure we fulfill our promises. but i believe in regular order.
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i believe in going through the process the way it was meant to go through. we didn't write this bill in my office on christmas eve like they did in harry reid's office and jamb it through to an unsuspecting country. it goes to the budget committee the next week and the rules committee the week after that which is regular order. so, i'm excited we're doing this the right way. we're doing this out in plain sight. go to read the what i want to tell my fellow citizens as the nightmare of obamacare is about to end, we are doing what we said we would do in this campaign which is repeal and replace this awful law that is crashing. let me say one more thing. let's not forget, obamacare is collapsing. obamacare isn't staying. if we did nothing, the law would collapse and leave everybody without affordable health care. we are doing a act of mercy by repealing this law and replacing it with patient-centered health
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care reforms that we as conservatives have been arguing for and fighting for for years. chet. >> [ inaudible ]. >> i don't think so. let me just give you a list of what's in here that conservatives should be excited about. number one, the bill repeels obamacare. number two, it repeels the obamacare taxes which is a massive tax relief for families for the cost of health care. it repeels the obamacare spending like the medicaid expansion and the obamacare subsidies. it repeels the obamacare mandates on individuals and businesses. it ends funding for planned parenthood and sends that fund for community health centers. it is a per capita block grant. that is the biggest entitlement reform anybody has seen here for decades. it nearly doubles the amount of money people can contribute to health savings accounts. that is a fundamental part and crucial part of conservative health care policy. it equalizes the tax treatment
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of health care. i've been doing conservative health care reform for 20 years, for 20 years we as conservatives have been arguing for equalizing the tax treatment of health care for all americans so we can have a vibrant individual market so we have choice and competition. look, here's -- there is two ways of fixing health care. have the government run it and ration it and put price controls. that's what obamacare does. that's what the left wants. or do what conservatives have been arguing for years, have a vibrant free market where people get to do what they want, they buy what they want. equalize the tax treatment. stop the discrimination of peop people who want to go out in the prgt market and buy their own. it creates competition and allows choices. the most important thing this does is takes power out of washington, takes power out of the bureaucracy and puts it back to doctors and patients where it belongs. yeah.
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>> [ inaudible ] 10 million people lose their coverage. is that acceptable to you? >> what matters is we're lowering the costs of health care and giving people access to government health care plans. the government will always win the war if we mandate, everybody buys what we say they have to buy, the government will estimate they will buy it. that is bogus. that entire premise doesn't work. the fact is we're not going to have the government tell you what you must do. tell you what you must buy. we're going to allow the market to do that. we're going to let people decide what they want to do with their lives and we want to lower costs by having more competition and equalizing health care, tax savings accounts, that gives people the freedom to buy what they want and can afford. >> [ inaudible ]. >> we will have 218 votes. this is the beginning of the legislative process. we'll have 218 when this thing comes to the floor. i can guarantee you that. >> what do you say to folks who say this bill [ inaudible ]? >> read the bill.
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go to read the >> [ inaudible ]. >> well, it's not that this is open for negotiations. what mike is trying to describe is we envision three phases occurring here. let me describe to you what the three phases are. number one is this bill which we use is reconciliation. as you know you can't filibuster a reconciliation bill. this repeal and replace bill is what we pass to reconciliation. phase two, all the regulatory flexibility that the secretary of hhs has to dee regulate the market place, to lower the cost and stabilize the market, that's what tom price will do. there is something like 1400 instances in this law that gives the secretary discretion. secretary tom price unlike the obama administration will use that discretion to bring more market freedom and market stabilization. so, that's phase two. phase three is to pass the bills that we want to pass that we cannot put in reconciliation
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because of the budget rules. what is an example of that? interstate shopping across state lines. we love that policy, we think it's critical. but as you well know, you cannot put that in a budget recolle reconciliation bill otherwise it can be filibustered. we also believe in association traders health plans. farmers plan, restaurant association plans, small businesses through the nfib plan bulk buy in pools. we very much believe in that policy but we know the rules don't allow us to pout that in reconciliation. medical liability, it is cranking up health care costs, practicing defensive medicine which makes health care ultimately more expensive for everybody. but we know we can't put that in reconciliation. those phase three bills we're going to move also at the same time and we're going to push those to the finish line. those will ultimately take 60 votes in the senate. so, phase one is this repeal and replace bill. phase two, tom price dee regulates the market and brings certainty so we can have more choices and more plans and get the states back in the game of
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being able to regulate health care. phase three, pass those reforms that we believe in, that we think will make it even better, but we know we can't put it in reconciliation because of the 60-vote threshold. thank you very much, everybody. appreciate it. >> we had the republican house leadership talking about the very first steps in their effort to repeal and he roo place obamacare. let's go to phil mattingly also on capitol hill. phil, still the question remains, will republican conservatives, will the rank and file come behind speaker ryan and support this effort? >> yeah, and clip and save speaker ryan's words, i just stepped out from where he was speaking. he said he would guarantee they would get 218 votes. he would guarantee they would get the majority for the bill they introduced last night. he and his team are now trying to sell. no question about it, jake, to get to that point, they need to
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persuade very wary conservatives who held a conference saying why it did not go far enough. even as the trump administration clearly gets on board, clearly starts joining the house republican leadership in selling this proposal is do they have the juice to get those conservatives in line. he said yes. can you do what nancy pelosi did in 2009, get your conference together to move this forward. he said absolutely one of the big questions is obviously committees will start working on this bill as of tomorrow. then it will move over to the house floor. how much room is there for negotiation? how many changes can be made in this initial bill to try and pacify or assuage the concerns of those conservative. i'm told from house republican aides there isn't a lot they can do to jachange the general direction of this. that makes what speaker ryan will have to do behind closed doors ahead, what president trump, vice-president pence and price will have to do exceedingly important to move those individuals who aren't just wary, but out right opposed
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back in line, jake. >> that's right, phil. as you know, many republicans calling this replacement effort obamacare 2.0 or republican well fair. thanks to phil mattingly. follow me on facebook and twitter. that's it for "the lead." turning it over to wolf blitzer in the situation room. >> happening now, breaking news on life support, the president backs a house republican plan to replace obamacare, but it's already under attack from all sides. with conservatives calling it obamacare light. is it dead on arrival? still no evidence, the white house offers no evidence to back the president's claim that he was wiretapped at trump tower by president obama. it has not talked to the fbi and says the president has no regrets. democrats say president trump is destroying, destroying the credibility of the presidency 140 characters at a time. special prosecutor, senators